Wagyu Feeder Check

An AWA tool developed with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, and powered by Neogen, aimed at improving resilience and sustainability of high value beef exports.

Sire Verification and Supply Chain Confidence

Wagyu Feeder Check (WFC) is an Australian Wagyu Association tool developed in partnership with CSIRO, and delivered by Neogen, aimed at improving resilience and sustainability of Australia’s Wagyu beef export Sector.

Wagyu Feeder Check is a commercial DNA genomic test designed for Wagyu content beef cattle to determine low genetic merit animals and help eliminate these from long-fed programs.  This will optimise resource use efficiency, increase drought adaptability, and improve profitability and resilience in the high-value Australian Wagyu Beef export beef sector, saving up to $22 million in costs and resources annually.


All Wagyu Feeder Check requests and results will be handled in a database hosted by Helical, link below.


  • All testing is done through Neogen
  • Samples must be collected using Allflex/Neogen TSUs (Tissue Sample Units).
  • The cost of the Wagyu Feeder Check is $45 + GST (AUD) per test
  • Testing cannot be done on a sample already at the lab, a new sample must be collected

What is the cost of the Wagyu Feeder Check test?

The cost is $45 + GST (AUD) per test when using TSU's. $48 +GST (AUD) when using haircards.

How was the Wagyu Feeder Check Developed?

The Wagyu Feeder Check tool was developed through partnership with AWA, Neogen and CSIRO. The Wagyu Feeder Check genomic algorithms were developed by CSIRO using more than 8,000 genotypes supplied by the AWA and Neogen and carcase records supplied by 7 independent commercial supply chains.

What would Wagyu Feeder Check offer my business?

Industry deployment of the test delivers a step change in optimizing management strategies to meet profitability and sustainability targets in the Wagyu industry.

Wagyu Feeder Check is aimed to support supply chain participants who produce export market quality for Wagyu beef using a grow out period, typically around 350 - 400 days.

Wagyu Feeder Check provides you with the ability to test feeders at feedlot entry to estimate low genetic merit carcase performance animals. Animals in your induction groups can be ranked for genetic merit on five feedlot and carcase performance traits and on the Wagyu Feeder Index, a weighted index ranking animals on estimated profitability.

Animals that can be identified as not meeting the performance criteria for a supply chain can be drafted into short-feeding programs or other endpoints, saving on resource use and investment of capital.

How does Wagyu Feeder Check work?

Wagyu Feeder Check reports genetic merit for 5 traits; Average Daily Gain in the Feedlot, Carcase Weight, Subcutaneous Fat Depth (P8 fat), Eye Muscle Area and Marble Score.  Using these traits within the Wagyu Feeder Index, we calculate the relative commercial value ranking of each individual animal based on weighted importance within the Index.

An MBV (Molecular Breeding Value) Trait Ranking from 1 (lowest/worst performing) to 10 (highest/best performing) is reported for the 5 Wagyu Feeder Check traits along with the Wagyu Feeder Index.  The five reported traits are defined in the following table:

What traits are analysed as part of Wagyu Feeder Check?

Carcase Weight (HCW): Hot carcase weight is the hot or unchilled weight of the carcase after slaughter.

SC fat depth (P8FAT): is the depth of subcutaneous fat over the rump at the P8 measurement site

Marble Score (MARB): Is the AUSMEAT marbling score from 0 to 9+ measured on the carcase at the 5/6th or the 12/13th rib site on the chilled carcase under AUSMEAT grading conditions.

Eye Muscle Area (EMA): is the area of the ribeye muscle estimated at the 12/13th rib sire in cm2

Feedlot Average Daily Gain (ADG): is the average daily gain across the whole of the feedlot finishing period (estimated at 400 days)

Wagyu Feeder Index (WFI): Is an Index from 0 (low) to 100 (high) to allow ranking of animals on estimated relative profitability

Sire Verification: sire verification against over 70,000 Fullblood and Purebred males will be provided.

How is the Wagyu Feeder Check Index weighted for the different traits?

Feedlot ADG - 8.3%
Carcase Weight - 16.7%
SC Fat - 12.5%
EMA - 12.5%
Marble Score - 50%

How does the sire verification work?

The Australian Wagyu Association has a genomic database with over 70,000 registered sires. This database will be searched to find a sire-parent match for every animal submitted for genotyping through the Wagyu Feeder Check test. The sire-parent registration identifier will be reported for every animal where the sire could be statistically validated.

Using the Wagyu Feeder Check Verify function, you can sort animals within your data report by sire where the sire has been identified from the AWA database. Once you have carcase data reported for your feeder groups, you can identify high and low performing sires within your groups to further improve future management decisions. For example, eliminating low performing sires from your feeder groups or targeting high performing sires for future feeder groups.

What do I need to do to test my animals with the Wagyu Feeder Check?

• Collect TSU samples on the animals you want to test (TSU number and EID/Animal ID to be recorded)
• Submit your request to the AWA through the Wagyu Feeder Check database
• Send your samples to Neogen with the required documents
• Await your results to be reported through the Wagyu Feeder Check database.

What happens if I have carcase data I want to submit on the animals I have tested?

The AWA encourages you to register sire-parent verified animals identified through Wagyu Feeder Check Verify in the free-of-charge AWA Slaughter Register. AWA will then refund you with $5 per Slaughter Registered animal for which carcase data is provided from the processing facility.
In providing the AWA with the carcase data for Wagyu Feed Check Verified animals and AWA paying you $5 per record, you agree to the AWA using the carcase data for improving its genetic estimates of registered cattle within the AWA public genetic evaluation (Wagyu BREEPLAN) for Fullblood and Purebred cattle.

What animals are suitable for testing with Wagyu Feeder Check?

Wagyu Feeder Check is suitable for use on Wagyu F1 animals that are Wagyu x high content, Bos Taurus genetics, principally Wagyu x Angus F1 animals.

Further research is required to determine the predictive ability of the product in Wagyu x Bos indicus, or Wagyu x Dairy animals. Contact staff at the AWA or Neogen to discuss testing options for animals in this category.

Fullblood or purebred Wagyu animals are more suited to analysis in Wagyu BREEDPLAN, rather than with Wagyu Feeder Check.

Can I do the Wagyu Feeder Check test on a sample already tested/submitted at Neogen?

NO. A new sample must be collected and sent to Neogen to conduct the Wagyu Feeder Check test.

Important Notice and Disclaimer

It is very important that you appreciate when viewing the AWA database that the information contained on the AWA database, including but not limited to pedigree, DNA information, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and Index values, is based on data supplied by members and/or third parties.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information reported through AWA, AWA officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use or interpretation. AWA disclaims all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you may incur as a result of the use by you of the data on this AWA database and the information supplied by ABRI and AGBU being inaccurate or incomplete in any way for any reason.

Regarding EBVs and Index values, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • EBVs are derived using Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN technology developed independently by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), using the information contained within the AWA database.
  • AGBU is a joint venture of NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of New England, which receives funding for this purpose from Meat and Livestock Australia Limited.
  • AWA relies solely on advice provided by AGBU and ABRI in accepting Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN software.
  • EBVs published in Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN are estimates of genetic potential of individual animals and may not reflect the raw animal phenotype.
  • EBVs can only be directly compared to other EBVs calculated in the same monthly Wagyu Group BREEDPLAN analysis.

Regarding pedigree and DNA testing results submitted to the AWA, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Pedigree and DNA data submitted and supplied to AWA may have errors in it which cannot be detected without further DNA testing.
  • Technology may have advanced since a particular test was undertaken so that previous inaccuracies which were not detectable are now able to be detected by current testing technology.
  • AWA estimates that less than 1% of the pedigree entries, ownership or breeding details in the AWA Herdbook may have errors or which may be misleading. For this reason, users ought to consider if they need to obtain independent testing of the relevant animal (if possible) to ensure that the data is accurate.

Regarding prefectural content, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Prefectural content is based on the estimation of prefectural origin from Japanese breeding records of 201 foundation sires and 168 foundation dams.  As genotype-based parent verification is not used in Japan, and full Japanese registration certificates are not available for all foundation animals, exact prefectural composition for these sires and dams cannot be validated.
  • The calculation of prefectural content for Australian Herdbook animals relies on the accuracy of pedigree records and DNA samples provided by AWA members.
  • The reporting of prefectural content for animals within the AWA Herdbook relies on the calculation provided by ABRI.

If you consider that you do not understand or appreciate the nature and extent of the data provided on this website or the EBVs of a particular animal, then AWA strongly recommends that you seek independent expert advice.